As Junior Team Tennis, better known as JTT, gains traction in the Fort Worth area, we are trying to make it easier to get information about leagues and to register. So now there is www.YouthTennisFortWorth.com.
Another significant addition to the JTT experience in these parts is the hiring of three new coordinators. The Greater Fort Worth Tennis Coalition (GFWTC) had planned to hire two coordinators and had posted flyers and other notices to that effect in the last couple of months. But the GFWTC was so impressed with the finalists that its members decided to hire one coordinator for the northern area and split the southern area between two people.
The North East Tarrant Tennis (NETT) JTT coordinator is Lisa Ingram, who can be reached at 949-412-7051 and
The Southwest JTT coordinator is Pattye Hicks, reachable at 817-781-6800 and
The Southeast JTT coordinator is Lavell McCollum, whose contact information is 817- 483-6199 and
Laura Gilbert, the USTA Texas service representative who handles the Fort Worth area, says that the three coordinators will operate under the GFWTC umbrella and work closely with the Community Tennis Associations (CTAs) in their respective territories. The larger CTAs involved are Arlington Tennis Association (ATA), Fort Worth Tennis Association (FWTA), the Fort Worth Professional Tennis Association (FWPTA) and the aforementioned NETT.
Incidentally, those four CTAs are represented on the GFWTC, as are the men's and women's league coordinators, and the combo and mixed doubles coordinators. Yes, that's a lot of coordinators, and we need every one of them.
In fact, it would be hard to quantify how much good the GFWTC does for our tennis community, and then it goes out and does something like this. Fantastic.
Young players who join JTT teams will enjoy the benefits of this attention to detail. Says the USTA's Gilbert, "The GFWTC is putting a priority on growing JTT in their area by putting their dollars to work as well as their volunteer efforts."
It was the GFWTC that hired us to start TennisFortWorth.com in early 2011, but only recently did it change its name from the Fort Worth League Committee to the Greater Fort Worth Tennis Coalition. Details about that will come in a future blog.
So remember: Come here for JTT information--we will continue to include its flyers and news items--but you can also get info and register for teams at YouthTennisFortWorth.com.
Tarrant Tennis Bums Debuts on Facebook
Benbrook's Wayne Willingham, who has completed the career Grand Slam by attending all four majors, recently started a new group called Tarrant Tennis Bums. I realize many players aren't on Facebook, but maybe this group would make it worth it to you.
There are some local groups that make it easy to find partners or leagues, but Tarrant Tennis Bums is unique. It takes advantage of the immediacy of Facebook by connecting members who want to play matches right now or tonight, just hit or coordinate a whole day of doubles.
You simply check in on the Facebook page and alert the other Tarrant Tennis Bums that you want to play at such-and-such a time at such-and-such a place. If someone else in the group wants to play, s/he contacts you personally, y voila--a tennis friendship is born.
Willingham has lost about 80 pounds by playing tennis every chance he gets in the last year or so. He is effusively thankful to the sport for giving him a new passion and great happiness. Good luck with this great new venture, Wayne.
Comings and Goings (Give Us Yours, Too)
Linton Lewis has left McLeland Tennis Center for a new position at Fort Worth All Saints, where he is the new after-school tennis coordinator. He says working for the last five years for McLeland general manager Tom Buell gave him the tools he would need to run things at All Saints. He needed a change of scenery, as many of us decide at turning points in our careers, and he said this seemed like a great opportunity.
Matt Probey, who served as McLeland's director for about a year, also is trying something new. He is stepping away from tennis to run a lawn-care company in Rockwall. He and Buell have known each other since Probey was a pro at Mira Vista Country Club 10 years ago. That was when I met them, too. They are both fine people and fine pros.
Like Lewis and Probey, McLeland Tennis Center is trying something new, too: GTA Tennis. That stands for Giovanni Tennis Academy, run by Giovanni Halman--formerly of All Saints. Halman is the director and owner of "GTA All The Way! New Age Tennis at McLeland Tennis Center."
Halman started by offering a free week of camp, and now he has an assortment of junior programs. Contact him or Buell at 817-921-5134.
WTA and USTA Pro Circuit Finish, But Futures of Mansfield Awaits
The WTA just concluded a tournament at the Hilton DFW Lakes, and the USTA Pro Circuit had held a women's tourney at TCU just a week or two before, but pro tennis isn't done here yet.
The USTA Pro Circuit's Futures of Mansfield will occupy Mansfield's Walnut Creek Country Club and tournament director Ernie Abraham for most of October, between the earlybird wildcard, followed by the wildcard, qualifying and main-draw singles and doubles tournaments. This one, as usual, is a men's tournament.